The rain was delayed by five hours as usual. The trains are running late in Mamta’s regime so even we were sure that I won’t be boarding it before midnight. So as per my premonition, I boarded at 12:30 am. Again something common about the trains is that if there is no one on your seat, others occupy it as per their whims and fancy. It’s so awkward to wake them up so late in the night. Having no other choice, I had to wake the uncle up from my berth.
My luggage shifting and talking to my family and people who came to see me off woke the people around me, but there was this man on the passage seat sleeping unperturbed. I saw the man’s pants were wet near the waist area and he was sleeping facing the window. He didn’t even budge at so much of commotion, so I thought he might be in his drunken stupor. I don’t have the habit of sleeping at night while traveling; probably my brain believes that most of the thefts occur during night, so I guard my stuff.
The man’s phone kept on ringing for the whole night, which he didn’t pick. I was surprised at the fact that he didn’t even change position while sleeping for over five hours that I was awake. Finally, at 6:00 am I went to sleep after waking my dad up. The man’s phone was still ringing. The other women in the nearby birth said that the man had to get down in the next station but he was still sleeping. The continuous ringing of his phone now made people a little scared that something might be wrong.
We called the Ticket Checker and told him about our suspicions. The TTE called the attendant and asked them to wake the man. They tried with all their might but still the man didn’t budge. While they shook him on the shoulders, his whole body used to shake as if he was frozen. The TTE got scared as he realized that the man was already dead and he fled from the scene instead of calling the cops and the doctors to remove the body and inform his family.
Later, the other people in the compartment informed the police and it took those people over two hours to get a doctor and remove the body from the seat. The man was dead for over 8 hours then and his body had iced up due to rigor mortis. The police let us know after verification that the man was 28 years old, recently married and he was a part of the armed forces located in the north-east of India.
It was after the body had been removed that we realized that we had spent our whole night beside a dead body.